Day 1
January 1st, 2022
State Farm Arena
Atlanta, Georgia

Watch: Peacock

Meet Our Reviewers

Suit Williams: Last time I did a WWE pay-per-view, I handwaved the main event. I probably won’t do that this time, but anything can happen in World Wrestling Entertainment. (Note: I wrote this before the main event got changed. What a coincidence.) Check out my Brock Lesnar retrospective series The Brockumentary here on VOW, and follow me on Twitter @SuitWilliams

Sean Sedor: Busy day for me. Penn State played a bowl game at noon (they lost sadly), I participated in the Wrestle Omakase Awards show (along with Suit), and now both of us are doing this PPV review. You can follow me on Twitter @SASedor2994. If you’re interested in some other stuff I do, you can check out my YouTube channel (just search my name) if you’d like to see me play the Formula 1 game, and you can also check out my Extreme Warfare Revenge thread on the Be The Booker forums (if you’re into those kinds of games). 

Ridge Holland & Sheamus def. Cesaro & Ricochet

Suit Williams: I didn’t know this was a thing, and I was recording the prestigious Wrestling Omakase Awards Ceremony. So I missed it. The one guy got his face caved in by Ricochet though. That was gnarly.

Sean Sedor: Suit and I were still in the middle of recording the Wrestling Omakase Awards show, so I was watching this one on mute. Nice to see Ricochet get a PPV payday, even if it’s just the kickoff show. So I guess the most notable thing from this bout is that Ridge Holland got his nose broken very early in the bout following a Standing 450 Splash from Ricochet that went wrong. He completely disappeared at this point, basically turning it into a 2-on-1 Handicap Match with Sheamus continuing on his own. Despite his partner turning into a ghost, Sheamus still won the match anyway, which pretty much tells you that his team was always going to win, and they didn’t call an audible. Sheamus winning this bout clean, basically all by himself, did make Cesaro and Ricochet look really weak. You can kinda give it a pass since an injury took Holland out, but at the same time….can’t you guys divert from your dumb script for two freaking seconds when someone is hurt? **1/2 

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) def. The New Day (Kofi Kingston & King Woods)

Suit Williams: Ten minutes into the show, we get the first bell. They mention that Woods is in his hometown, which should give away the finish. They’re in the big building in Atlanta, and it’s packed and loud for this one. These two teams have wrestled a ton of times, and it showed as their chemistry was very good here. The working boots were on here and it felt like the match could go either way. The Usos had a good nearfall with a double splash on Kofi that Woods had to make the save on. Eventually the Usos hit a 3D, which Pat McAfee renamed the 1D (One & Done), for the win. Awesome stuff to open the show. ****

Sean Sedor: Suit and I had just finished recording the aforementioned Wrestling Omakase Awards show right before this match started. Thank goodness the opening match on a WWE PPV takes an eternity to get going with all the entrances and video packages. The match got off to a slow and methodical start as I went to heat up my leftover Chinese food. The Usos worked over Kofi a lot in the early portion of the bout until Woods made the tag. From there, it became a more even, action-packed affair with a number of close nearfalls. The crowd was really into this one, and they were really invested in the result here. The Usos ultimately picked up the win to retain their titles after hitting, of all things….The 3D….on Kofi. While this feels like the 100th time The Usos and The New Day have wrestled each other, you can always count on them to put on a really good match, at the very least, every single time. By no means will this threaten any Match Of The Year discussions come November/December, but this was a very strong PPV opener. ****

Drew McIntyre def. Madcap Moss (w/ Happy Corbin)

Suit Williams: They interviewed the Migos before this match started. I wonder what they think of the Madhatter Moss here. Fuck, Corbin has the mic. I’m chanting SHUT THE FUCK UP at my phone right now. McAfee with the quote of the year as “Madcap” has McIntyre in a headlock: “Nobody…cares.” This was a Smackdown TV match on a “Premium Live Event” as Michael Cole called it. McIntyre wins. **

Sean Sedor: I’m going to take this opportunity to complain about the name of this PPV, as they should’ve gone back to the New Year’s Revolution name from the mid-2000’s (what a cool logo with the dragon). Anyway, we’re only a day into 2022, and Madcap Moss is getting a PPV match with Drew McIntyre. Pretty much tells you that the SmackDown side of the main roster has next to no depth. McIntyre was in control of Moss early as Corbin was wearing a top that looked like it was stolen from the closet of Everett Connors. Moss had a few moments to shine, but for the most part, McIntyre destroyed him and eventually put him away with the Claymore Kick. The leftover Chinese food I had for dinner was more enjoyable than this match. **

WWE RAW Tag Team Championship: RK-Bro (Randy Orton & Riddle) (c) def. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) 

Suit Williams: Hey RAAAAAAANDY, I hate Riddle so much. At least they’re wrestling and not cutting promos. The Migos are out with RK-Bro, because I’m sure they love his little scooter he carries out with him. Why is Graves catching people up on the show, like they’re coming back from commercial? This is a PLE, we’ve been watching the show for an hour. Orton gets a hot tag, and Quavo is into it at ringside. The double DDT off the ropes gets all three stood up. Orton and Riddle hit a pop-up RKO and win a Raw match. **

Sean Sedor: So apparently WWE is no longer referring to PPVs as PPVs. They’re now referred to as “Premium Live Events”. Whatever. Orton and Riddle were accompanied to the ring by the hip hop group Migos. I guess they’re sitting at ringside for this one. The two teams played some mind games early before Orton started working over Montez Ford. Once Angelo Dawkins got tagged in, The Street Profits worked over Riddle for a bit until he was able to make the hot tag to Orton. There was some decent action down the stretch (including a huge dive to the floor from Ford), but the champions ultimately retained after Riddle launched Ford into a RKO. A perfectly fine mid-card PPV match. Nothing much else to say. ***

Edge def. The Miz (w/ Maryse)

Suit Williams: Edge comes out to the Brood music. I personally can’t wait for Jeff Jarrett to come back and get a little Southern Justice nostalgia. Tennessee Lee is still hanging around, and I don’t think either of the Godwinns are dead either. I am the wrong person to ask to sit through, and care about, a Mike “The Miz” Mizanin match in 2022. There’s a camera trained on Maryse, so you know nothing is gonna happen until she gets involved. The Miz does something…resembling a figure four, and Edge pulls a SCARY FACE and turns it around. This is exhausting. The match is just going, and no one cares. Maryse finally gets involved and gets Miz a nearfall. Then Beth Phoenix (looking stupid) shows up and stands there…and stands there…and stands there…until her music hits and she runs off Maryse. Edge hit a spear and won. That finish was so overproduced. Just hit Beth Phoenix’s music and have her run out, why is she standing there looking stupid? I don’t give a shit who these guys are married to, I don’t care about the Miz or Edge to begin with. Now we’re gonna get a bad tag match with all four of these people that I do not care about in the slightest. Joy. I’ll be nice and call this match tedious. *

Sean Sedor: Ok, look….I can kinda get Edge doing The Brood stuff with the Seth Rollins feud, but doing it for this Miz feud….which is only a few weeks old? Just seems a tad unnecessary if you ask me. As soon as this match got started, I saw the news that Jeff Jarrett showed up on the GCW show tonight. Hey, from the news that a company that Jarrett is connected to bought PROGRESS Wrestling, to this GCW appearance….Double J always wins baby. Always. As for this match, the two were doing some fine back and forth early, but the crowd largely remained quiet and didn’t seem to care that much. The crowd seemed to come alive after Edge nailed a big slam on the announce desk. The action continued to be fine as the crowd noise was just at this murmur. The crowd did come alive again for a nearfall of a Skull Crushing Finale after Maryse hit Edge with something following a failed Spear attempt. This brought out Beth Phoenix, who chased Maryse away. This set up Miz for a spear from Edge, and that was it. 

The wrestling for the most part was fine, but it was really hard to care about this match. I really wonder what would’ve happened had Edge gone to AEW, because you look at him vs. Christian Cage to see who’s had the better post-return run, and it’s not even close. Christian’s time in AEW has, for the most part, smoked Edge’s WWE stuff. This did set up the mixed tag that we all figured was coming once Maryse came back with The Miz at the start of this feud. My rating is probably on the generous side, but this was just….there. **3/4   

WWE RAW Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) def. Liv Morgan

Suit Williams: Speaking of one star, here’s that one star defending her title. I want to like Liv Morgan, because I think she’s incredibly hot, but to act like she is a star right now is absurd. Liv Morgan is doing offense in this match, and you could hear a rat piss on cotton. She’s not a big deal, and it isn’t entirely her fault. This company wouldn’t know how to make a star if one fell into their laps, which one did a few years ago. Her name was Becky Lynch, and they continue to pretend like people don’t like her. The crowd goes between chanting Let’s Go Becky and being quiet. Liv hit a cool sunset flip powerbomb for a nearfall. Liv got her heat back by stomping Becky’s arm in the steps and getting a Rings of Saturn on. Becky got out and reversed a move Liv was going for into the Rock Bottom for the win. The last two minutes were pretty hot, but this was largely a loooong Raw match with an apathetic crowd. I can’t say that Liv feels like a big deal after this one either. **1/2

Sean Sedor: I really hope this show ends before 11:00 Eastern so I can play some F1 2021. Liv Morgan stans all over Twitter rejoiced as Morgan went on the offensive early. So when Liv made her entrance, there was barely got a reaction, while Lynch came out to a mixed reaction where the boos seemed to win out. When you combine a wrestler who isn’t over with a wrestler who the company is pushing as a heel against the will of the fans, then you get a situation like this where the crowd doesn’t care. The crowd seemed to get a bit more into the match as Liv made her comeback, and a cool sunset flip powerbomb off the second rope got the biggest pop of the match so far.

Becky rolled to the floor after a top rope dropkick from Liv that didn’t exactly look good. Liv did manage to lock in the Rings of Saturn for a near-submission, but Becky escaped. This was followed by Liv trying to go for Oblivion. However, Lynch countered it into the Manhandle Slam for the win. Now the Liv stans on Twitter are probably crying their eyes out. There were some solid moments in this match for sure, but this was nothing special. A mostly quiet crowd didn’t help much either. The real star picks up the win here as Morgan, once again, fails….but wait, I thought they made a star out of Liv Morgan a few weeks ago? Oh, by the way, apparently Becky was supposed to get her feet on the ropes for the finish, but she couldn’t get there. So instead of cheating to beat Liv again, it came off as Becky beating Liv clean. LOL WWE. **1/2 

WWE Championship: Fatal Five-Way Match – Brock Lesnar def. Big E (c), Seth Freakin’ Rollins, Kevin Owens, & Bobby Lashley (w/ MVP)

Suit Williams: This was non-stop action from bell-to-bell. Rollins and Owens tried to work together to keep the three powerhouses down, but Brock killed them both off with F5’s. Lashley had Brock fading in the Hurt Lock before Big E broke it up and hit him with a Big Ending. Then, BORK SMASH. BORK WIN. BORK PIN BIG E CLEAN. The new WWE Champion (and feature of my long-running series on VOW, The Brockumentary) is Brock Lesnar. Awesome match. BORK RULES. ****1/4

Sean Sedor: Before the main event, we get a video from Johnny Knoxville announcing that he’s entering the Royal Rumble, so I’m sure he’ll be taking a ridiculous bump to the floor at some point during that one.

Anyway, it’s time for the main event, which means it’s time for Farmer Brock! Still can’t get over this guy coming on in overalls on SmackDown for weeks. Big E and Lashley start brawling on the floor as Lesnar just kills Owens and Rollins in the ring with German Suplexes. Big E then levels Brock, who in turn gets leveled on the floor by Lashley. We then get Lashley spearing Brock through the barricade. We’re not even three minutes into this match, so it has to be a new record. Owens and Rollins then start to work together as they manage to take out Lesnar. Big E recovers and slams Lashley through the announcer’s desk. This has been a pretty fun match up to this point. Owens and Rollins DDT Lesnar on the steel steps, and we get some cool action in the ring with those two and Big E. Lesnar then comes in out of nowhere and starts dishing out F5’s to everyone, but then Lesnar gets nailed by Lashley with a spear for a nearfall.

Big E recovered and managed to nail Lashley with the Big Ending. He then tried the same thing on Lesnar, but Lesnar nailed Big E with the F5. Brock Lesnar pins Big E to win the WWE Title, and immediately, we have one of the funniest moments of the year on January 1st. Now as far as the match itself goes, it freaking rocked. It was go-go-go right from the opening bell, and they never stepped off the gas for a second. This was such an entertaining match to watch, plus there was a pretty decent story in here as well, with Owens and Rollins trying to work together to take out the three bigger guys. Of course, the big moment that will have everyone talking is the finish. I’m not totally surprised that Lesnar won the match, but the fact that Big E was the one who took the fall (when it could’ve easily been Owens or Rollins since they do like to protect Lashley) is incredibly funny on so many levels. I could say more, but I don’t want to ramble on forever. I’ll just end by saying that this match kicked ass, and the fact that Big E got pinned clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring by Brock Lesnar tells you all you need to know about what this company really thinks about Big E. ****1/2